Parliament laments Low Public Confidence in its Activities



The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Hon Frank Annoh-Dompreh has bemoaned the low level of confidence from members of the public in the work of parliamentarians. He said the situation is due to the competitive nature of politics and the unkempt promises of parliamentarians to their constituents. Delivering a statement to the house to mark the World Parliament Day on June 30, 2020, Mr. Annoh-Dompreh said it is important to identify the contributory role of parliament in achieving a robust democracy so as to address the shortfalls which does not augur well for the progress of parliamentary work.






“Public confidence in authority of parliament is low and falling. The reasons are multiple which includes the competitive nature of politics, which means that there are almost always winner and losers, promises that cannot be kept and problems that cannot easily be solved. A toxic combination of adversarial politics, broken promises and a perceived inability to bring about positive change undermines public confidence in political processes” he said.

The lawmaker also attributed the seeming low performance of parliamentarians to the limited understanding of the public about parliamentary activities “Public understanding of the role of parliament is generally limited. Even the most highly educated may struggle to distinguish what is the purpose of executive and that of the legislative branch of government. This contributes to unrealistic expectations of what parliaments and individual parliamentarians can achieve”

He has therefore urged the house to make a concerted effort towards the education of young people on civic and parliamentary matters as he believes this will bridge the gap between parliament and the public.

For his part, ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto  Ablakwa  also noted that the high attrition rates in parliament  have become a treat to the Ghanaian parliament as it robs the house of experienced lawmakers who can contribute meaningfully to parliamentary work. He said research has shown a rise in the number of first term MPs each years which undermines the smooth continuity of parliamentary work  “ I have been doing some work from the library of Parliament of Ghana and Mr. Speaker, when you compare to other parliaments across the world, we are among the highest. And on a day like this we must reflect on how to combat this because the high attrition rate robs parliament of experience, it robs parliament of institutional expertise which eventually undermines the output of the house”.  He noted

Hon. Ablakwa also called for a constitutional amendment which will enable the independence of parliament from the executive, as this is a major cause of the high attrition rate. “To address this, Mr. Speaker, and I know that you have published on this particular recommendation, the amendment of the 1992 constitution so that parliament will be independent so that majority of ministers appointed by the president will not be selected from parliament. That is really one thing leading to the high attrition where so many people in the executive, chief executives and all others really want to come to parliament. And people come to parliament in Ghana not really to specialize in law making and carry out parliamentary oversight but to catch the eye of the president”

He also called on political parties to introduce protective mechanisms for incumbent  first term members of parliaments who are interested in a second term so that they can get another chance to come back to the house and bring their  experience and expertise to bear on the works of parliament.

The International Day of Parliamentarism (IDP) or World Parliament Day (WPD) has Since June 30, 2018 been celebrated worldwide, countries the world following a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. WPD commemoration also predates to 1889, when the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) was founded.

 Source:

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of parliament, Hon Frank Annoh-Dompreh has bemoaned the low level of confidence from members of the public in the work of parliamentarians. He said the situation is due to the competitive nature of politics and the unkempt promises of parliamentarians to their constituents. Delivering a statement to the house to mark the World Parliament Day on June 30, 2020, Mr. Annoh-Dompreh said it is important to identify the contributory role of parliament in achieving a robust democracy so as to address the shortfalls which does not augur well for the progress of parliamentary work. “Public confidence in authority of parliament is low and falling. The reasons are multiple which includes the competitive nature of politics, which means that there are almost always winner and losers, promises that cannot be kept and problems that cannot easily be solved. A toxic combination of adversarial politics, broken promises and a perceived inability to bring about positive change undermines public confidence in political processes” he said.

The lawmaker also attributed the seeming low performance of parliamentarians to the limited understanding of the public about parliamentary activities “Public understanding of the role of parliament is generally limited. Even the most highly educated may struggle to distinguish what is the purpose of executive and that of the legislative branch of government. This contributes to unrealistic expectations of what parliaments and individual parliamentarians can achieve”

He has therefore urged the house to make a concerted effort towards the education of young people on civic and parliamentary matters as he believes this will bridge the gap between parliament and the public.

For his part, ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa also noted that the high attrition rates in parliament  have become a treat to the Ghanaian parliament as it robs the house of experienced lawmakers who can contribute meaningfully to parliamentary work. He said research has shown a rise in the number of first term MPs each years which undermines the smooth continuity of parliamentary work  “ I have been doing some work from the library of Parliament of Ghana and Mr. Speaker, when you compare to other parliaments across the world, we are among the highest. And on a day like this we must reflect on how to combat this because the high attrition rate robs parliament of experience, it robs parliament of institutional expertise which eventually undermines the output of the house”.  He noted

Hon. Ablakwa also called for a constitutional amendment which will enable the independence of parliament from the executive, as this is a major cause of the high attrition rate. “To address this, Mr. Speaker, and I know that you have published on this particular recommendation, the amendment of the 1992 constitution so that parliament will be independent so that majority of ministers appointed by the president will not be selected from parliament. That is really one thing leading to the high attrition where so many people in the executive, chief executives and all others really want to come to parliament. And people come to parliament in Ghana not really to specialize in law making and carry out parliamentary oversight but to catch the eye of the president”

He also called on political parties to introduce protective mechanisms for incumbent  first term members of parliaments who are interested in a second term so that they can get another chance to come back to the house and bring their  experience and expertise to bear on the works of parliament.

The International Day of Parliamentarism (IDP) or World Parliament Day (WPD) has Since June 30, 2018 been celebrated worldwide, countries the world following a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. WPD commemoration also predates to 1889, when the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) was founded.

By: Emmanuella Dabugblor

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